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The Howling (1981)

R | | Horror | 10 April 1981 (USA)
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After a bizarre and near deadly encounter with a serial killer, a television newswoman is sent to a remote mountain resort whose residents may not be what they seem.

Director:

Joe Dante

Writers:

Gary Brandner (novel), John Sayles (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Dee Wallace ... Karen White
Patrick Macnee ... Dr. George Waggner
Dennis Dugan ... Chris Halloran
Christopher Stone ... R. William 'Bill' Neill
Belinda Balaski ... Terry Fisher
Kevin McCarthy ... Fred Francis
John Carradine ... Erle Kenton
Slim Pickens ... Sam Newfield
Elisabeth Brooks ... Marsha Quist
Robert Picardo ... Eddie Quist
Margie Impert Margie Impert ... Donna
Noble Willingham ... Charlie Barton
James Murtaugh ... Jerry Warren
James MacKrell James MacKrell ... Lew Landers (as Jim McKrell)
Kenneth Tobey ... Older Cop
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Storyline

In a red light district, newswoman Karen White is bugged by the police, investigating serial killer Eddie Quist, who has been molesting her through phone calls. After police officers find them in a peep-show cabin and shoot Eddie, Karen becomes emotionally disturbed and loses her memory. Hoping to conquer her inner demons, she heads for the Colony, a secluded retreat where the creepy residents are rather too eager to make her feel at home. There also seems to be a bizarre connection between Eddie Quist and this supposedly safe haven. And when, after nights of being tormented by unearthly cries, Karen ventures into the forest and makes a terrifying discovery. Written by Tim Kretschmann <Tim.K@VirComm.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

All your nightmares are about to be transformed into one single inescapable fear! See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

10 April 1981 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Aullidos See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$17,986,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jack Conrad was originally set to direct and write this movie, but troubles with the studio forced him to leave the project. In addition, Terence H. Winkless was writing the screenplay at one point, but he left the project when his version proved unsatisfactory. This eventually fell into the lap of director Joe Dante, who brought aboard John Sayles, with whom he had previously worked for Piranha (1978), to write the screenplay. See more »

Goofs

The book shop owner says a full moon is a Hollywood myth and werewolves can change whenever they like. He then adds they can only be killed with silver bullets, (which is another Hollywood myth). The filmmakers pick and choose, because silver bullets serve the plot later on. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Dr. George Waggner: Repression. Repression is the father of neurosis, of self-hatred. Now, stress results when we fight against our impulses. We've all heard people talk about animal magnetism, the natural man. the noble savage, as if we'd lost something valuable in our long evolution into civilized human beings. Now there's a good reason for this.
See more »

Crazy Credits

At the very end of the credits, there is a brief clip from The Wolf Man (1941). See more »

Alternate Versions

In the French video version (TF1) The scene where "Eddie" rips a bullet out of his forehead just before turning into a werewolf is missing. The theater version was uncut though. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Cutting Compromise: Editing Nightbreed (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Escape From the Morgue
(uncredited)
Composed by Pino Donaggio
Conducted by Natale Massara
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
One of the best werewolf movies ever made.
14 November 2005 | by unakaczynskiSee all my reviews

The Howling

Easily one of the most historically popular werewolf films out there deserves some attention, right? Well of course. And since lately I'm getting more and more into werewolf films, I figured it was high time I actually bought this one and reviewed it. This, along with American Werewolf in London, were the two films that revolutionized werewolf movies and transformed them from just some guy running around bein' all hairy and strangling people. On top of it all, we have Joe Dante (Piranha, Gremlins) directing. Good times will be had by all!

This film revolves around a news anchor-woman who is helping the police track down a serial killer, made all the easier by the fact that he's taken an interest in her. Well, everything goes just awful and she ends up traumatized. Her shrink suggests she and her husband take a comfortable, soothing vacation in a community that he's a major part of. Of course, the movie is helped along by the fact that the town just happens to be chock full of werewolves who can't seem to decide whether to eat these new people or have them join up.

Here's the breakdown:

The Good:

--We've got some beautiful and unique looking werewolves here. The first one we have a very clear view of, in the doctor's office, almost resembles some creature that's part wolf, part man, and part cat. It just kind of had that feel--not that it's bad, I liked it.

--Interesting story, one of the better ones in the world of werewolves.

--The acting is pretty good, one has to consider the fact that a lot of actors just don't take these kinds of roles seriously enough. So finding a movie like this where they do is quite nice.

--Naked transforming werewolf sex scene by a campfire. Hmmm... maybe this should be the Memorable Scene....

--Average amounts of violence--more a suspenseful werewolf film than a visually disturbing one. The gore, while only occasional, is really good.

--Nice mystery story wrapped up in here.

Didn't Hurt It, Didn't Help:

--Decent music, somewhat average for these kind of movies.

--Dee Wallace-Stone's acting occasionally isn't quite up to par, shall we say...

--One werewolf transformation sequence is actually animated--like with cell animation and it doesn't look very good. It's brief and small, and doesn't detract from the film's overall quality.

--Dee Wallace's friends in the movie really seem to adopt the notion of werewolves rather easily--I would think it would be hard to accept that idea... oh well...

The Bad:

--Some two-dimensional characters.

--This film is in a series notorious for it's much crappier releases, but that's really about all there is that's not to like.

The Ugly:

--Robert Picardo (the hologram doctor from Star Trek: Voyager) plays the ultimate bad-ass werewolf--and boy, his face doesn't look good all charred with acid...

Memorable Scene:

--Robert Picardo's werewolf in the Doctor's office. Oh, and that werewolf transformation sex scene. That was pretty hot.

Acting: 8/10 Story: 9/10 Atmosphere: 9/10 Cinematography: 8/10 Character Development: 8/10 Special Effects/Make-up: 8/10 (some less than fancy stop-motion, and one bit of obvious animation) Nudity/Sexuality: 4/10 Violence/Gore: 8/10 (Average amount, but very high quality) Sets/Backgrounds: 9/10 Dialogue: 7/10 Music: 7/10 Writing: 8/10 Direction: 9/10

Cheesiness: 1/10 Crappiness: 0/10

Overall: 8/10

A horror must-see. One of the classic werewolf films. Personally, I think Dog Soldiers may still be a little better, but that's just me. For horror fans and a great piece for non-horror fans to find out what a good werewolf movie should look like--sans CG werewolves.

www.ResidentHazard.com http://bartboard.proboards3.com/index.cgi The Board, movie message board.


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